Introducing the New Queen of the History Department: Ms. Caitlin King

In October 2020, EHHS gained a new teacher in the history department, Ms. Caitlin King. Although she is new to us, she has been teaching since 2017, starting at Derby High School in Derby, CT. She has been a part of the EHPS team before, starting with a student internship at JMMS. From there, she became a paraprofessional at EHHS, leading up to working remotely with Civics and Modern World History classes in 2020. Currently, she teaches U.S. History to Sophomores, as well as Sociology and Black & Latino Studies for Juniors and Seniors.

Ms. King says that she always wanted to be a teacher, stating, “I can’t see myself doing anything else.” She was a waitress before joining the education system. She had multiple inspirations for her career path. Her grandmother, who immigrated to the US from Italy, had always wanted a teacher in the family. Out of nine grandkids, Ms. King took on the challenge. When she was younger, she taught her grandmother how to speak English, giving her joy whilst teaching. Along with her grandmother, Ms. King’s 6th grade science teacher was a big inspiration for her. Ms. King noted that this teacher made class, “So fun, that I forgot I was in the classroom.”

Ms. King got her career started with her education; she earned her undergraduate degree in education in 2012 at Southern Connecticut State University, followed by earning her masters in history and education in 2016 at the University of New Haven.

Ms. King said her hiring process was a bit out of the ordinary with COVID protocols. She was told to record a video of herself answering questions, and then she was requested for a follow-up interview afterwards with Dr. Marangell, the EHPS Social Studies instructional leader and Mrs. Wright, an EHHS Social Studies teacher. When she started teaching during COVID and online-learning, she enjoyed it. She said, “At first it was tough to adjust to everything,” and she didn’t mind it after awhile; she wouldn’t want to do it again however.

Ms. King describes her teaching style as “structured, laid back, and anything far from a lecture.” She likes to keep her students engaged and interested, while also learning something and having fun. Since beginning to teach at EHHS, she has gained a lot of confidence, as well as a larger ability to try new things. She said that “Learning to teach and actually teaching [a class] are totally different.”

Ms. King sets goals for herself all the time. As a teacher, she wants to be better every day and improve on what she’s doing in the classroom. Her goal for her students is to have them learn something every day and to make a connection to history while also having it mean something to them. Her goal for the rest of the school year is to go with the flow and get things accomplished. Ms. King hopes that her classes are adjusting well coming out of COVID, and she wants to keep them engaged and focus on time management skills.

The students from Ms. King’s classes enjoy her teaching. Mia Paniss, a Junior from one of her sociology classes says, “I like the class a lot! Ms. King is very nice and willing to work with you for any issues you may have!” Mia loves the teaching style and thinks the class is generally easy to understand, learning something new every day. Another student from her U.S. History Class says, “I genuinely really like the class, Ms. King's teaching style is very fun and easy to follow. Her work is also fairly easy but still interesting. I don't usually like history but that class is fun.” Overall, Ms. King’s students seem to enjoy her classes, as well as understand them and have fun in them.